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  • RDA Pilbara

Global spotlight on the Pilbara, new Critical Minerals Strategy and an update on the running man!

Each week, RDA Pilbara compiles a weekly wrap of news that's important to industries and communities in the region and also the highlights of our activities on the ground.


Read on for what's been happening from June 16 to June 23.

Global mining spotlight on the Pilbara

It’s been a very informative and exciting few days in Karratha, which played host to the 4th OECD Meeting of Mining Regions and Cities.


The conference, which focussed on diversification and green value chains and liveable and sustainable mining communities, included not only viewpoints from around the Pilbara and across Australia but also the international arena. Countries represented across the three days included Chile, Portugal, Morocco, Finland, Canada and Poland.


This highlights that, although the Pilbara is unique, there are learnings we can take from other parts of the world and, equally, insights we can contribute to them.


RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson, deputy chair John Lally OAM and board member Nancy Milligan were among those at the Red Earth Arts Precinct participating in the event and we were proud to be a silver sponsor. It was excellent to see so many local companies and WA stakeholders as part of the agenda: Rio Tinto, Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pilbara Universities Centre, Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA, Department of Training and Workforce Development, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd, Tender Relief, Cheeditha Energy, Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation, Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation, the University of Western Australia, Woodside Energy, Yara Pilbara, FMG, Pilbara Development Commission, Gilbert + Tobin, Sustainability Focus, Infrastructure WA, Development WA, the Shire of Ashburton, EY Australia and, of course, the City of Karratha.


Many thanks to the City of Karratha for their work in organising the event and also to Minister for Regional Development Don Punch for his attendance.



New Critical Minerals Strategy announced

The Australian Government this week released its Critical Minerals Strategy 2023-2030, aimed at identifying the path forward for the country to fully capitalise on its critical minerals resources.


It’s a comprehensive document covering more than 50 pages and focusses not only on Australia’s rich resources and existing industries but also the importance of further progression into downstream process.


The strategy includes a $500 million commitment under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to supporting aligned projects, with other priority areas identified including: • developing strategically important projects • attracting investment and building international partnerships • engaging with First Nations and sharing benefits • promoting Australia as a world leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards • unlocking investment in enabling infrastructure and services • growing a skilled workforce.


You can access the full strategy here: https://bit.ly/43O0JsS


Whale sharks swimming in Tokyo?

It sounds an unlikely proposition but residents of one of the world’s busiest cities had the chance for an up-close look at some of WA’s natural treasures this week.


The promotion, which is the latest instalment of the WA Government’s Walking On A Dream initiative, saw stunning video imagery of whale sharks towering over commuters in the Shinjuku and Harajuku districts.


The initiative seeks to advertise tourism opportunities in our State and particularly regional WA. Prior to the pandemic, Japanese tourism comprised nearly 39,000 visitors a year to WA.


Come for the work, stay for the whales?

On the subject of aquatic wonders, we couldn’t help but notice this creative recruiting pitch from Citic Pacific this week.


Citic Pacific’s Cape Preston operations south-west of Karratha have been producing magnetite concentrate since 2013 and include the first greenfields port to be built in the Pilbara in 40 years.


As Citic’s post made clear, the port is home to much more than just exports!

New healthcare tech to be trialled in the Pilbara

The WA Government and Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson announced this week that it had selected 10 finalists for The Challenge healthcare competition, which will see new innovations trialled for 12 months in the Pilbara.


The innovations include new screening methods for skin cancers and eye diseases, digital imaging using 3D goggles and a technological solution to close communications gaps between Aboriginal community members and healthcare workers.


Each of the finalists will receive $200,000 to embed their concept in the Pilbara and demonstrate that it works.


Guy just keeps on running!

Our weekly update on Guy Schweitzer and his incredible attempt to run from Port Hedland to Brisbane, via Marble Bar, Telfer, Alice Springs, the Simpson Desert, Birdsville and Innamincka.


Guy, for the uninitiated, is a director of MGN Civil Pty Ltd (the company completing bulk earthworks on the Spoilbank Marina), and clearly likes to run more than most!


He’s defying a sore ankle/calf, has encountered rain, been gifted Tim Tams and beers and is now well and truly into the Northern Territory. Guys is planning to reach Mount Liebig today (Friday 23/6) where he will have his first shower in nearly two weeks!


You can follow Guy’s journey here: https://bit.ly/3OYzzLo


Marina now officially connected to the ocean

Speaking of Spoilbank, Guy would presumably have been delighted to learn that water is now officially flowing between the Marina and the ocean.


Pilbara Ports Authority shared this excellent time lapse video to mark the milestone.



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